Sweet Moments

We’re in the middle of a big move. We bought our new house last week and move in at the end of next week. There’s so much going on, it makes for an extra-stressed Mama. And wouldn’t ya know? An extra-stressed Aleksander. It’s amazing how these little ones tune into our emotions and end up acting like little mirrors, reflecting back at us whatever we’re projecting out.

Of course, I could also add that Aleksander is getting his 2-year molars (a little early). Plus he’s missing my parents, who were here last week (and are luckily returning on Saturday!). And maybe starting a new phase?? Well, whatever the cause, he’s been a little extra cranky lately. I try to get work done while Kelly is here to watch him in the afternoon, but he just wants his Mama.

Through it all, though, he still is his sweet, funny self. So not only does he show me that I’m stressing too much, but he reminds me how to laugh!

Today he did not want to read a book before his nap. He looked at it, but then decided he’d had enough. In his fussiness, he flung his arms … and hit me square in the face with the book. OWWWWW!!! (Yes, I did yell out in surprised pain.) But I managed to take a breath and keep my cool. We came to the conclusion that we’d put the book away and just move to the window for our lullaby. Still, I was so hurt – more emotionally than physically – by what he’d done that my voice was cracking as I sang while I tried to hold back tears.

Next thing I knew, he was looking at me – really looking – right into my eyes. That alone was enough to melt my heart. But then he leaned in for a kiss (we’ve been practicing this lately). More melting. But then he did something that pushed me right over the edge…. He made the sign for butterfly and leaned in for a butterfly kiss. That was it. Out spilled the tears. It was just so sweet. He must have felt the wetness on his own cheek. He then looked at me quizzically and started gently poking at my eyes, as if to wipe away the tears.

Come on – does it get any better than that?

Even when he has his cranky moments, that sweet little boy of mine is still right there. Sigh.

Even the Bad Days Are Good

I had a rough weekend. Came down with some kind of bug. I still don’t know what it was. But I was good for nothing all day Sunday. So when I came downstairs this morning, I very quickly plummeted into a dark mood. No one had emptied the dishwasher, so there were dirty dishes all over the kitchen. Aleksander’s toys were everywhere. The house was in a general state of chaos. I had thirty minutes to get Aleksander dressed and fed before we headed out to music class. Oh yeah, and I still had to take out the trash. Grrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr!

My day was definitely not off to a good start. To make matters worse, I was having trouble not blaming PER for every rotten little thing. He’d been holed up in his office for most of the weekend, working. So it really wasn’t his fault. But I’m afraid I sent him off with quite a grumble, and he won’t be back from his business trip until late Thursday.

But all that changed when I opened the car door to get Aleksander and take him in to music class. My little man greeted me with a great, big, joyful smile! My heart melted and all my frustrations dissolved in an instant. That sweet little boy was so perfectly happy just to see me! It was quite a gift.

Oh, and PER ended up stopping back home before he went to the airport to pick up the sunglasses he’d left in my car. So I was able to send him off with the goodbye kiss I wished I’d given him that morning 🙂

Question: Do you have a story about a little moment that changed your whole day?

The Hard Days

I almost lost it the other night. Aleksander’s molars are coming in, and he’s had a couple rough nights. For the most part, I’ve been able to rock and sing to him to lull him back to sleep. But on Saturday, nothing was working. All I could do was hold him and walk him. I thought my arms were being ripped out of their sockets. I’d try to pass him to his Dad, but only his Mama would do. Somehow I managed not to fall apart – physically or emotionally. But it reminded me of all the times when I wasn’t able to keep it together….

I was recently reading another blog by a mother of three who was having a really hard week. As she came out of it, one of her biggest complaints was all the cheery advice she got. It’s so true! When you’re in the depths of despair, the last thing you want is a Pollyanna to come along and tell you to look at the bright side and that everything will be okay – even if it’s true.

Trying to yank yourself up the emotional ladder from despair to joy is simply impossible. In that dark place, you feel powerless, and it takes a lot of effort to get yourself out of that hole. I think the first thing to do is acknowledge where you are and give yourself permission to be there. You’re not a bad mom for falling into this murky pit! And maybe you just have to stew in it for a little while. But unless there is a deeper problem at work, you will eventually come out of it. One step at a time.

For me, it usually helps to have a good cry. Not too long ago, PER was away for the week, and I was having a bad day. I fought the tears back all day long until I couldn’t take it anymore. So I stalked into the guest room, closed the door, sat down in the chair, and just bawled. This time was not so bad, because in a matter of minutes I felt better. And then I was ready to go out and face my baby again.

But maybe that doesn’t work for you. How about getting good and mad instead? Did you know that getting angry is actually a step up from feeling depressed? It kind of sounds worse to me, but I suppose it’s better, because you’re actually doing or feeling something. Of course, you don’t want to get angry at your baby … or yourself … or your spouse … or the lady at the check-out counter at the grocery store. Instead, try thrashing it out on your bed! Pound your pillows! Yell into the bedspread! It can have quite a powerful effect. You may even end up laughing!

Question: How do you handle the hard days? Is there anything you do to pull yourself out of them?